Definition of crusade in US English:


(also Crusade)


  • 1A medieval military expedition, one of a series made by Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.

    • ‘Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common.’
    • ‘The first Crusade took three years to reach the Holy Land.’
    • ‘The Crusade had been launched by Pope Urban II in 1095.’
    • ‘The Crusades weigh heavily on the Arab world as well.’
    • ‘Saladin and Richard the Lionheart are two names that tend to dominate the Crusades.’
    • ‘The Sixth Crusade was led by Emperor Frederick II.’
    • ‘Medieval England was to gain a great deal from the Crusades.’
    • ‘After the Mamluks took Jerusalem in 1244 AD, Louis announced his Crusade.’
    1. 1.1 A war instigated by the Church for alleged religious ends.
      • ‘The cross has been carried at the head of crusades and pogroms, even as it was offered to the weak as a model of how they ought to accept their suffering.’
      • ‘Before that, our ancestors backed empires and launched crusades.’
      • ‘We're returning to the bedrock values, the strong traditions of faith and family, not to mention the floggings, ritualistic humiliations and the religious crusades.’
      • ‘The Armada was not only a religious crusade - though the people of Spain interpreted it as being so.’
      • ‘Our holy wars, crusades, and pogroms have decimated people in the millions in the name of our religion.’
      • ‘They're sort of fighting a battle for God, but a battle of prayer and ethics, and sort of moral crusades.’
      • ‘Therefore, the Civil War must be a religious crusade to regain the Almighty's favour.’
      • ‘However, there has been little to compare to the crusades and religious wars in medieval and early-modern Europe.’
      • ‘Peak oil, global warming, pandemics and religious crusades are about to converge in a most unfortunate way.’
      • ‘Wars in the name of political ambitions and crusades for fanatical religious faiths are all part of man's history to this day.’
    2. 1.2 An organized campaign concerning a political, social, or religious issue, typically motivated by a fervent desire for change.
      ‘a crusade against crime’
      • ‘The grandfather of a teenage boy who died after inhaling an aerosol is now committed to a life-saving crusade against solvent abuse.’
      • ‘A civil servant has vowed to carry on her crusade against crime despite becoming the victim of a hate campaign.’
      • ‘His crusade against greyness is in part a response to his experience of Czechoslovakia which, as a dual passport holder, he left for London in 1968.’
      • ‘While urging the authorities to find more resources to fix up our schools, our political representatives ought to be leading the crusade against vandalism.’
      • ‘After 1945, World War II was conceptualized here as a crusade against absolutism and intolerance.’
      • ‘Schools across the country have joined the crusade against violence.’
      • ‘In addition, more elaborate evangelism programs, such as the multi-day, outdoor crusades, are rarely held because of prompting from leaders in the church administration.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, I'm somewhat sympathetic to their crusade against horrible animal living conditions.’
      • ‘His crusade against the government apathy towards ex-soldiers and their families is continuing even at the age of 81.’
      • ‘The crusade against child obesity is likely to produce, not healthy outcomes, but miserable children and anxious parents and epidemics of dieting and eating disorders.’
      • ‘Town leaders are calling for a crusade against television programmes they claim are eroding moral values.’
      • ‘Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, hundreds of thousands of people made ‘decisions’ for Christ at various evangelistic crusades and festivals.’
      • ‘In this regard, he is not an armchair liberal, his crusade against hatred, neo-Nazism etc seems to be an integral part of his public identity.’
      • ‘Our specialized insights and practices are crucial in the national crusade for health.’
      • ‘We all need to support the crusade against corruption.’
      • ‘His crusade against redundancy and overspending in government seemed fuelled by an overriding concern for the common good.’
      campaign, drive, push, move, movement, effort, struggle
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[no object]
  • Lead or take part in an energetic and organized campaign concerning a social, political, or religious issue.

    ‘he crusaded against gambling in the 1950s’
    • ‘But it still strikes me as a bizarre issue to be crusading on behalf of.’
    • ‘He changed the position of the Catholic church on the death penalty, and he crusaded against the death penalty.’
    • ‘And, it seems, that for all his crusading on behalf of workers, he isn't the best boss to work for.’
    • ‘The newspaper crusaded against emancipation in the months leading up to the draft riots.’
    • ‘Such clashes put him in a fighting mood about the needs of the disabled, and he has been crusading for various causes ever since.’
    • ‘He crusaded for free food stamps to combat hunger and malnutrition in children.’
    • ‘He's devoted years of thought and action to foreign policy, and in decades past has courageously crusaded against national security corruption, including the CIA's connection to contra supporters involved with drug dealing.’
    • ‘Were my grandparents secretly crusading to end world hunger?’
    • ‘Why is it left to this small public company to be crusading in this area against the establishment?’
    • ‘She said that, as somebody who has been crusading to get insurance premiums down for drivers under 25, she was appalled at such comments.’
    • ‘He was ridiculed and reviled, but this did not deter him for one second from crusading on behalf of society's outcasts.’
    • ‘True, they crusaded to take women out of politics, but they did so in order to open up other areas of public life to women.’
    • ‘You're crusading against a lot of the violence that some of the other hip-hop artists celebrate.’
    • ‘And he is crusading to force brokers to reveal how they are paid to sell certain funds.’
    • ‘Activist movements led by adult adoptees have crusaded against the ‘secrets and lies’ of confidential adoption.’
    • ‘The result was that Europe quickly lost its taste for crusading.’
    • ‘He was a pioneer conservationist, crusading to save Georgian London from the developers and responsible for saving Carlton House Terrace.’
    • ‘He has crusaded ceaselessly against welfare recipients, eventually gaining national renown by time-limiting their eligibility for support.’
    • ‘Mostly, crusading politicians get frustrated and give up or learn the ropes and work within the existing system.’
    • ‘Before the election, the local media successfully crusaded for change in government policy that would provide free antiretroviral treatment to the poor.’
    campaign, fight, do battle, battle, take up arms, take up the cudgels, work, push, press, strive, struggle, agitate, lobby
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Late 16th century (originally as croisade): from French croisade, an alteration (influenced by Spanish cruzado) of earlier croisée, literally ‘the state of being marked with the cross’, based on Latin crux, cruc- ‘cross’; in the 17th century the form crusado, from Spanish cruzado, was introduced. The blending of these two forms led to the current spelling, first recorded in the early 18th century.